Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Discover Historic Plantation Life in Darien Georgia- In antebellum plantation days of McIntosh County, many
of the local plantations had fleets of small boats with which communication was made between each other.
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Prior to the Civil War, crew racing became the most popular sporting event of the region. The plantation owners entered their boats in annual regattas for prices running as high as $10,000.

The racing boats were usually constructed of seasoned cypress logs, hulled out in the form of shells. They were from 25-to-50 feet long with 12-foot oars mounted in outboard riggers. As the Negro oarsmen pulled with a quick motion, they chanted songs which enabled them to keep together; the chanteys were as much a part of the races as the rowing itself. The master of the plantation usually served as coxswain.
The Rice Plantations
Near the coast, the fresh-water rivers, such as the Altamaha, are affected by the rise and fall of the tides from the Atlantic Ocean to about thirty miles inland. This setting made possible the utilization of the flushing effects of fresh and salt water tides for systematic, irrigation purposes, which are necessary for the cultivation of rice. The great watershed of the Altamaha delta between Darien and Glynn County's northern sections made possible the development of prosperous rice plantations.

The peak of the rice industry in McIntosh County was reached in the decade of the 1850s. The local plantations along the Altamaha River branches and Cathead Creek west of Darien accounted for the bulk of the rice being exported from Georgia during the antebellum period.

The rice fields on these plantations averaged in size from 300-600 acres; in the peak decade of the 1850s, there were about 2,800 slaves being utilized by the Altamaha valley rice planters. Pierce Butler and P.M. Nightingale, the two biggest planters in terms of volume, sometimes had yields of more than one million pounds of rice per year between 1850 and 1860. Butler, at one time, had 505 slaves on Butler's Island.

The Tidewater Plantations
The United States census of 1850 lists a total of 117 plantations and farms in McIntosh County, some of them owned by a group of men who were among the wealthiest planters in Georgia. For the period prior to the War Between the States, McIntosh was one of the most productive agricultural regions of the state - a far cry from the present day when there is little or no agricultural activity on a commercial scale in the county.
Contact Info
Darien/McIntosh County Chamber of Commerce at 912-437-6684
Butler Island Plantation in Darien GA

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